US Open umpire in Kyrgios row escapes sanction

Nick Kyrgios takes a break during his second-round match against Pierre Hugues Herbert at the U.S. Open on Aug. 30.
Al Bello  
Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios takes a break during his second-round match against Pierre Hugues Herbert at the U.S. Open on Aug. 30. Al Bello Getty Images

On Thursday, Kyrgios, a 23-year-old Australian, did not appear to be putting forth much effort while dropping the first set and falling behind 3-0 in the second against Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. He could be heard telling Kyrgios, "I want to help you", and, "You're great for tennis".

Earlier, the USTA released a statement saying that Lahyani only left his chair to check on Kyrgios' physical condition, after the Australian said he was not feeling well because of the heat in NY and asked for some salts.

Asked how he would respond if the umpire in the next match does the same thing as Lahyani, Federer said: "That won't happen".

But USTA chiefs have undertaken a "comprehensive review" of the chair umpire's behaviour and decided that he will avoid punishment, despite accepting that his actions went "beyond protocol". The chair umpire, Mohamed Lahyani, chose to intervene.

"He [Herbert] let me back into that set".

But Herbert said it was obvious something changed after Lahyani's talk.

"I don't know what he said".

Federer, who won the pair's other two matches on final-set tie-breaks, told ESPN that Kyrgios, who does not have a coach, needs more consistency to realise his potential. I don't care what he said. He was not focused 100%, then he pulled out after the second set. "Those things happen, I guess". So is he a better tennis player today than he was a decade ago, when he won his fifth consecutive US Open title in 2008?

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"I think it´s always tricky against Benoit, never quite the same point". I didn't listen to what they said. I was down 5-2. "This isn´t you. I know that".

If Lahyani gets in trouble for his actions on Thursday, maybe he should consider moving from the umpire chair to Kyrgios' coach's box.

The umpiring furore has overshadowed what shapes as the match of the first week between Federer and Kyrgios, who have already engaged in three memorable encounters - all decided in third-set tiebreakers. "Just call the trainer to the court and I'll try". I don't know if something would've changed if Mohamed didn't say anything to him.

"He just said that it´s not a good look".

Up next, Federer plays No. 30 seed Nick Kyrgios on Saturday. "I don't think he's a coach, he's an umpire, and he should stay on his chair for that". Many believe if he could put it all together and just commit to the game, he'd be one of the best players on the planet.

'Again, I understand as well why people are speculating that it should not happen.

Kyrgios was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct after quitting his first-round match against American Steve Johnson in Shanghai in October, a year after he was similarly penalised for failing to compete properly against Mischa Zverev at the same tournament.

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